Filing for an extension isn’t without perils

April 5, 2016 Yes, the federal income tax filing deadline is slightly later than usual this year — April 18 — but it’s now nearly upon us. So, if you haven’t filed your return yet, you may be thinking about an extension. Extension deadlines Filing for an extension allows you to delay filing your return until … [Read more…]

Entrepreneurs: What can you deduct and when?

  March 28, 2016 Starting a new business is an exciting time. But before you even open the doors, you generally have to spend a lot of money. You may have to train workers and pay for rent, utilities, marketing and more. Entrepreneurs are often unaware that many expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be deducted … [Read more…]

3 income-tax-smart gifting strategies

March 14, 2016 If your 2015 tax liability is higher than you’d hoped and you’re ready to transfer some assets to your loved ones, now may be the time to get started. Giving away assets will, of course, help reduce the size of your taxable estate. But with income-tax-smart gifting strategies, it also can reduce … [Read more…]

Make a 2015 contribution to an IRA before time runs out

March 7, 2016 Tax-advantaged retirement plans allow your money to grow tax-deferred — or, in the case of Roth accounts, tax-free. But annual contributions are limited by tax law, and any unused limit can’t be carried forward to make larger contributions in future years. So it’s a good idea to use up as much of … [Read more…]

2 benefits-related tax credits just for small businesses

February 29, 2016 Tax credits reduce tax liability dollar-for-dollar, making them particularly valuable. Two valuable credits are especially for small businesses that offer certain employee benefits. Can you claim one — or both — of them on your 2015 return? Retirement plan credit Small employers (generally those with 100 or fewer employees) that create a retirement … [Read more…]

What’s your charitable donation deduction?

FEBRUARY 22, 2016 When it comes to deducting a charitable donation, all donations are not created equal. As you file your 2015 return and plan your charitable giving for 2016, it’s important to keep in mind the available deduction: Cash. This includes not just actual cash but gifts made by check, credit card or payroll … [Read more…]

How to max out education-related tax breaks

February 15, 2016 If there was a college student in your family last year, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2015 return. To max out your education-related tax breaks, you need to see which ones you’re eligible for and then claim the one(s) that will provide the greatest benefit. In … [Read more…]

Extension means businesses can take bonus depreciation on their 2015 returns – but should they?

February 1, 2016 Bonus depreciation allows businesses to recover the costs of depreciable property more quickly by claiming additional first-year depreciation for qualified assets. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) extended 50% bonus depreciation through 2017. The break had expired December 31, 2014, for most assets. So the PATH … [Read more…]

File early to avoid tax identity theft

January 25, 2016 If you’re like many Americans, you may not start thinking about filing your tax return until the April 15 deadline (this year, April 18) is just a few weeks — or perhaps even just a few days — away. But there’s another date you should keep in mind: January 19. That’s the … [Read more…]